Kathleen Sullivan

Kathleen Sullivan bigraphy, stories - American lawyer

Kathleen Sullivan : biography

August 20, 1955 –

Kathleen Marie Sullivan (born August 20, 1955) is a professor at the Stanford Law School and name partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, a litigation-only white shoe law firm with offices in California, New York, Silicon Valley, Chicago, San Francisco, Germany, London, and Tokyo where she chairs their national appellate practice group.http://abovethelaw.com/2010/03/check_you_firm_name_quinn_eman.php

She was considered to be a potential candidate to replace David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. If she had been nominated, she would have become the first openly lesbian nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court in American history.


Early life and education

Born in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, and raised on Long Island, Sullivan graduated from Cold Spring Harbor High School in 1972. She participated in the Telluride Association Summer Program during high school, graduated from Cornell University in 1976, and graduated as a Marshall Scholar from Oxford in 1978. Sullivan then graduated from Harvard Law School in 1981, where her mentor Laurence Tribe called her "the most extraordinary student I had ever had."

After law school, Sullivan worked for one year as a law clerk for Judge James L. Oakes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She also worked briefly as a constitutional litigator in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is a Member of the California, New York and Massachusetts bar.

Academic career

Sullivan was a professor of law at Harvard Law School from 1984 until 1993. She joined Stanford Law School in 1993 and became the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law in 1996. Sullivan then served as the dean of Stanford Law School from 1999 until 2004, when she voluntarily stepped down to serve as the inaugural director of a new Stanford center on constitutional law. Since 2004, she has been the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.

Legal expertise

Sullivan’s expertise is in the area of constitutional law. She is the author of a leading text in the field, Constitutional Law, with the late Professor Gerald Gunther.

Sullivan is also an appellate litigator. She has won a number of cases in the United States Supreme Court, including Granholm v. Heald, which struck down a state prohibition of interstate wine shipping.[ Supreme Court Report] She has also represented Shell Oil in an appeal to limit the company’s liability for toxic waste. She has filed pro bono briefs in a wide range of civil rights cases before the United States Supreme Court, and served as co-counsel for the losing side in the 1986 gay rights case Bowers v. Hardwick.

Possible nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court

According to such publications as the New York Times and the National Journal, Sullivan was widely speculated to be on the short list for appointment to the Supreme Court.

Personal life

Sullivan, a member of the New York bar since 1982, and the Massachusetts bar since 1988, failed the July 2005 California bar exam for out-of-state attorneys, leading many to question either the usefulness of the exam or her preparation for it. She retook it in February 2006 and passed.